A while ago (it has taken me a while to post this) there was a horrible crunching noise coming from under our back cabin floor. normal it makes less horrible whirring noises, as under there lives our prop shaft.
It turns out that we had taken out the bearing on our prop shaft, according to general consensus on the Yahoo Canal List it looked exactly like an old Ford Cortina Mk 3 prop shaft centre bearing, there should have been a bearing race inside, and that it had gone for a wonder.
Splitting the prop shaft, to remove the broken bit, I was left wondering what to do with it, but it did allow me to have a better look at it.
After a bit of Tweeting, and phoning around, Brian of Peak Forest Canal Carrying Company/Renaissance, gave me a couple of number to try; several steps latter sees me on a MET (Manchester Tram Thing – MetroLink) with the propshaft off to see the nice people at North West Propshafts, who for £42 and half an hour gave me a new centre bearing, and some advice.
It turns out the bearing died a horrible death because it was being moved fore and aft when going between forwards and reverse (and as such was making horrible noises of the non-whirring kind) the movement was being taken up by the spline on the prop shaft, and transferred between the face of the rear pillar bearing, and the back of the gear box.
After putting the newly fixed prop shaft in, I turned my attention to stopping it wondering around the boat, it looks like two very small grub screws are all that stops it going for walks.
It looks like these two tiny grub screws came loose, allowing the prop shaft to move, so they are now firmly tightened, and at some point I will work out how to stop them from coming loose again, either using Loctite, or some other way of stopping them moving.
Until then, they shall get a good coat of looking at every so often.